CityBeat’s Living Out Loud – Cincinnati Blog

{August 25, 2006}   Comments on Current L-O-L: “Reefer Madness”

I missed the hippie era. By the time I visited Haight Street, there was nothing but dark, creepy streets strewn with homeless people. I got a coffee, visited a Dead cover bar and found a place to crash, frustrated.

I could score some bud or whatever I wanted in a fingersnap. I know the lingo, the corners. If I wanted to smoke a joint on Fountain Square, I would. But I haven’t eaten a tomato in a long time. They make me sick. Other people love ’em, grow the plants, give them as gifts, et cetera.

I have trouble talking to buzzing individuals. They appear distant, aloof. But I’ve been told I naturally appear distant, aloof. I’m sure people have trouble reading me. I talk to crack-addicted individuals. Sometimes I give them money. If they’re in withdrawal, they need more drugs. I would.

One fourth of July, my ex-boyfriend took up booze again, then pot, then heroin, disappearing. He’s not dead, because when they’re alive, you don’t hear. When they die, you hear the next day. I have heard, many times.

Smoke up, take pills, drink booze, eat tomatoes, whatever. Some can take it, thrive on it, enjoy it. Some die trying to enjoy it. I stay the course, my course. My course is not my brother’s course. As for laws and Mr. Officer, I don’t need you. I’ve had enough mental citations to last more than a lifetime.

C.A. MacConnell


Ted says:

I agree – to each his own. I don’t take drugs (anymore) or smoke pot (anymore) and I think Gross’ column was kind of old news. But I like him coming out and giving his take on it. Most newspapers in Cincinnati just report and it was good to finally see an editorial on it calling the pot law what it is: backwards and silly.

Sarah says:

What exactly is your course?

Joe Donaldson says:


That’s your take on the reefer madness editorial in City Beat this week. That’s even worse than the words that were written in the paper.

I for one, a father of two young boys, have no desire to go downtown and watch a guy smoke a joint while walking down the sidewalk. He needs to be in jail.

The guy who wrote this always takes a liberal stand – no surprise there. Let’s trash the city, double gas prices and now let pot smokers go free. I just wonder what’s going to be next.



Karen says:

I don’t think two little boys walking down a sidewalk is going to pay much attention to a guy smoking – cigarettes, pot, whatever it is.
You need to chill out.

I wish my dad was a pot head.

I wish he could have come home from his stressful night shift at the largest trauma center in the tri-state area, smoked a little grass and chilled out on the couch. I wish he could have giggled, lost his focus, and forgotten about whatever it was that pissed him off at work.

I wish my dad was a pot head, but he isn’t.

My dad is an alcoholic.

He says he needs to drink to relax, but then why doesn’t he relax? He drinks and stews and drinks and stews until the rage boils over, and he lashes out at the nearest person. Usually me. When I was eight. Eleven. Thirteen.

But it wasn’t always me who was on the other end of his alcoholic rage because often, I didn’t live with him. Once he pulled a gun on the water meter reader. A gun! And he didn’t go to jail! He would have gone to jail if he were black and pulled a gun on the water man in Cincinnati. He would have gone to jail if he were walking down the street smoking pot. But he didn’t go to jail for being an abusive alcoholic, and he didn’t go to jail for pulling a gun on a meter reader in a drunken rage. Go figure!

When I was fourteen, I put my foot down. I said “I’ll come visit for the summers, but I’m not living with you anymore.”

I wish my dad could have been a pot head. I know lots of pot heads, and I’ve never watched their trouble multiply with every puff. I’ve never watched the rage bubble over as they get more and more intoxicated.

I wish my dad was a pot head, but he wasn’t.

He was an alcoholic.

And according to our laws, that’s the way it should be.

Karen @ the hood says:

I live in O-T-R and pot is everywhere. Nothing wrong with that. What’s bad and causes all the violence is the crack. The cops need to do something about that and leave the grass smokers alone.

Jim Stanton says:

The big surprise in reading Larry’s editorial is that he’s not really a pot smoker. With his long hair and bluegeans, I kind of figured him to be.

Sarah says:

I liked what Heather had to say. My father was an alcoholic too and it killed him. That stuff is much worse than weed.

Did you know that you can’t even ingest enough weed to kill you?

The most toxic recreational drugs are alcohol, heroin, cocaine, meth, and ecstasy, which take 10 to 20 times the effective dose to kill you.

Roofies and Mescaline take 20 to 80 times the effective dose.

Shrooms and marijuana would take 100 to 1,000 times the effective dose, which isn’t even possible, so there has never once been a marijuana lethal overdose in the history of mankind, even with THC extracts like Marinol.

Jack says:

Maybe marijuana doesn’t kill you, but it can make you do stupid things – like walk out in the street and get hit by a bus.

Once again, if it’s a contest of which drug makes people more inclined to do stupid things, alcohol is still the champion.

If we’re going to be a puritanical society and make laws to jail people for doing stupid things, then there is absolutely no logical reason why we allow alcohol while we ban marijuana.

More people are hurt and more families are destroyed by alcohol. Alcohol is so addictive, that alcoholics go psychotic and have to be hospitalized when they don’t have it. I’ve seen people jonsing for a smoke, but no person has ever gone psychotic because they had too much or not enough weed.

Jeff- or-ly says:

I like BOTH pot and alcohol. What does that make me? Ha!

Jacob Hicks says:

I think the reality is both alcohol and drugs are bad for you. I know marijuana users are often called stoners and there’s a reason for that. People who smoke this tend to become lazy and often can’t hold jobs.

As far as I’m concerned, alcohol is just as bad. We need more strict laws on this also.

Jacob Hicks

Ughh! We don’t need MORE laws, we need fewer laws!

We can’t have the government stomping down doors and arresting people for doing stupid things, because then, WHO decides what is stupid and what isn’t?!

All drugs should be regulated like alcohol: if you’re minding your own business and doing what you’re supposed to do, that’s fine. If you start causing problems while you’re intoxicated (driving recklessly, getting into fights, etc.), then the law can step in.

And the stereotype about stoners only SEEMS true because all of the responsible, taxpaying, business owning, respectable pot smokers have to HIDE because they could go to JAIL even though they’re responsible, taxpaying, business owning, respectable people.

Jacob Hicks says:

“All drugs should be regulated like alcohol.”

How old are you, Heather? What you’re saying doesn’t make sense.

explain what doesn’t make sense to you, and I’ll clarify

You can start by reading the entire sentence:

“All drugs should be regulated like alcohol: if you’re minding your own business and doing what you’re supposed to do, that’s fine. If you start causing problems while you’re intoxicated (driving recklessly, getting into fights, etc.), then the law can step in.”

C.A. MacConnell says:

my course: I don’t drink or drug. I haven’t for a very long time. In the past, I’ve been the worst of the worst, so who am I to judge those that do. And this experience allows me to help others whenever I can, if they need or want help, and in the process, it reminds me of the pain, that it’s so close.

Laws are necessary. Sometimes, laws save lives. I’ve seen it firsthand. I said that I don’t need them because for me, my experience alone taught me more than any laws ever did or could. That was my path. But for others, different story. Many, many people’s lives are saved through jail. I have been to many of these places in person. And I’m grateful and surprised every time they let me leave.

Tonight, I saw one of the women I visited in jail. Now, she is two years out of prison and clean, smiling, laughing with me in the car, alive and utterly beautiful. Both of us were crying from joy and gratitude. And then we ran into a third woman, also crying, another woman I visited who served time with my friend. And then there were three of us hugging, shocked at the lucky fact that we were still kickin’. And then, there were five.

When I said “Smoke, drink, whatever,” I meant that other people have paths that are not mine. This woman’s path was to go to jail and get better. My path was to get better behind bars of my own making. We are no different, she and I. Today, my choice is to ride in the car with another woman ecstatic for the simplest of things: a simple job, a simple apartment, a car ride, loved ones, and breath.

That is my course.

Marilyn says:

I liked what Gross has to say in his editorial. Let’s save our jail space for people who really need to be there. I see no purpose at all in putting pot smokers in jail. As always, the people who run our city have their heads firmly up their ass.

Jackie says:

I agree, it’s a very silly law – but welcome to silliness, welcome to Cincinnati.

Bill says:

I liked the Reefer Madness editorial a lot but maybe the timing of it is off. In seven months, city council will be reviewing the law again and I wish Gross would have held his column in the weeks leading up to that review. Having lived in Hamilton County all my life, it would be no surprise to me at all if this silly law simply stays in force after the review. Let’s face it: It’s a big money better for the cops – AKA the fine. Easy money for lazy cops.

Let’s hope Gross reviews this issue again – in seven months. His columns have been more serious lately but I like the fact that he speaks out on issues that others don’t. When this law first came about, I thought for sure CityBeat would be all over it – you know – our alternative newspaper here (I still remember the pot issue they did a few years ago). CityBeat reported it, but did no editorial on it. Well now Gross has. It was well written and sometimes funny. The bottom line is it’s better late than never.

cherryred 127 says:

THE GROSS MAN RULES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i smoke dope all the time you guys. i ain’t mean, i ain’t causin’ anybody no harm and the fucking cops want to put me in their jail for smokin’ a little weed? find me you assholes – you fucking cops.

cheeryred 127. over and out!!!

What ever happened to Jacob Hicks??

Come to think of it, what happened to all the “pot heads should be in jail” people!

Karen says:

I think most of us are out enjoying our weekend.

Speaking of…………..I’m off to the movies.

Karen @ the hood says:

I’m smoking a joint now. Please don’t tell the cops!

Ha! We don’t have to worry about the cops here in California! Every once in a while they raid the dispensaries where you can buy it “legally” with “a prescripton,” but you won’t go to jail for having a little on you.

What sucks is trying to drive across the country with California plates. States like Texas and Kansas patrol the highways looking for California plates with the hope that they can find someone with some dope on them so they can confiscate their car. They have a huge racket going.

Plain Jane says:

I liked CA’s recent comment. Sounds like it took her a while to get her head on straight. Why mess it up with drugs?

Sarah says:

Thanks c.a.

Jeff- or-ly says:


Cannabis says:

i guess your life would is the most boring one!!!

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